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All photos by Ray Toh

It’s been a soggy week of play for the international athletes in town for the Qatar Total Open.

Despite two days of canceled matches due to rain, the tournament reaches the quarterfinals stage today.

Among the players who have advanced this far are World No. 2 Angelique Kerber of Germany, World No. 5 Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia and in a surprise upset, Shuai Zhang of China.

The 28-year-old defeated World No.7 and fifth-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain.

Crowds were pretty thin at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex this week due to the rain.

But they will likely pick up heading into the weekend and finals, which are on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Do you plan to go? Thoughts?

All photo by Reem Saad

Undeterred by rainy conditions, crowds thronged public places around Qatar to celebrate the country’s sixth annual National Sport Day today.

Parking was hard to find at many venues, including Aspire Park, where many families flocked to the several outdoor and indoor activities on offer.

Meanwhile, at Katara Cultural Village, there were aerobatic activities, athletic demonstrations and Zumba, among other events.

Qatar University

National Sport Day 2017

And over at Qatar Foundation, indoor activities included spin classes, running and tug of war, among other things.

Of course, not everyone ventured outside today. Some opted to sleep in and take it easy, which arguably is also good for one’s health.

How did you spend the holiday? Thoughts?

All photos by Reem Saad

Students and faculty at Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) began their winter semester this month at a brand-new building.

The 515,000 square foot, four-story facility was designed by famous American architect Antoine Predock and takes inspiration from Qatar’s “desert landscape.”

It boasts three video production studios, a multimedia newsroom, a two-story research library, a black box theater, multiple editing rooms and even an in-house museum.

Reem Saad / Doha News

Northwestern University in Qatar library

However, most of these features are not yet ready for use.

And a grand opening to mark the new building is expected sometime in the coming year.

Looking ahead

NU-Q is a journalism and communication school, and one of six American universities operating in Education City.

Last year, the school renewed its lease with Qatar Foundation for another decade, meaning it will continue to remain in Qatar until at least 2028.

NUQ/Facebook

NUQ’s former home at CMU-Q

The new building broke ground in 2011 and was originally supposed to open in 2013.

In a statement last month, NU-Q’s dean and CEO Everette Dennis said:

“It has been five years since we broke ground for the new building and it has taken significant team work to get this building completed. When finished, it will be the premier journalism and communication school in the region.”

Prior to moving in, the eight-year-old school was located at the top floor of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, and had a temporary studio building.

It also briefly operated inside of Texas A&M University at Qatar.

Thoughts?